Recreating new sounds of the past

Bison code: L.28211

Various excavations have resulted in a wide range of archaeological material and features. Depending on the archaeological period, features or structures can be houses, bridges, temples, hunebedds, burial mounts or military fortifications. To make these visible for people that have no knowledge of archaeology, reconstructions are made to visualize the archaeological finds. These reconstructions can be 2 or 3 dimensional. New techniques and ideas allow to introduce a fourth dimension to this type of reconstruction, for example sound. Recently South West Heritage Trust produced a reconstruction of the sound of the Iron Age site Glastonbury Lake Village in the Sommerset Levels, a so-called soundscape ( This soundscape includes, amongst others, the sounds of 75 different birds and visualizes the surrounding of the site in an animated landscape.

This type of presenting opens new pathways of presenting the past to the public. In the second semester of 2020-2021, a group of students worked on the creation of a soundscape of Bronze Age West Frisia in the form of a non-linear game. The client, ADC-ArcheoProjecten, one of the largest excavation companies in The Netherlands, would like to give another group the chance to make another soundscape. The location, type of archaeological structure and the archaeological period are not decided yet, but this depends on the group of students and the disciplines available. Various options are open for discussion, such as a Roman or Medieval town, the construction of a prehistoric house, the sounds of a ship on its way or Vikings raiding a town. The reconstruction of buildings in 3-dimensions can be part of the assignment. Other options are also possible, come up with an idea and discuss it with the other students and the client! The aim is to create a soundscape that will help tourists, visitors, interested people or school kids experience not only images of the past, but add an audio experience!

Cluster: The Future of the Past